Review - Wilcox L4G24 NVG Mount
Updated: Jan 20
History of Wilcox Industries Corp
Wilcox Industries Corp is a US corporation built upon; design, collaboration, manufacturing, precision and testing. Wilcox calls Newington, New Hampshire, USA their home in a huge manufacturing and engineering facility from which they manufacture and distribute equipment across the globe. The main three areas that Wilcox is involved in is; Night vision mounting systems, Combat systems and Life Support systems.
For more info - visit Wilcox Industries Corp website.
Forces across the globe utilise Night Vision in the, monocular, dual tube and four tube variants. Over the years NV has improved greatly with the advent of white phosphor adding to the existing standard green phosphor equipment, and the Generations (or Gens) have increased. We're currently at Gen4 which provides operators with greater clarity and clearer / cleaner images albeit at a financial cost. A great writeup about the differences between Gens can be found here.
One of the core parts of the helmet setups used by Bravo in SEAL Team are their NVDs (Night Vision Devices). These have always been available in their kit bags and whenever the risk of the mission running over the allotted schedule is there, Bravo load the NVD mounts and are prepared. Bravo as previously covered in my SEAL Team - Behind the kit - Helmets blog utilise the Ops Core and Team Wendy helmets. On both helmets primarily the Wilcox L4G24 NVG mount is used and therefore the G24 is another piece to the puzzle for those wanting to achieve the Bravo loadout.
Herein lies the product description from the website;
MATERIALS Lightweight Aerospace Aluminum, Polymer
*HEIGHT ADJUST 0.900in Total Vertical Travel
*VIEW TO STOW 130º Travel
*FINITE TILT 0-15º Tilt
*TRAVEL 1.100in Total Fore/Aft Travel
AUTO ON-OFF Applicable w/ Wilcox Metal Interface Shoes
WARRANTY Lifetime Warranty
**ACCOMMODATES AN/PVS-7A, AN/PVS-7C (Direct Mount) AN/PVS-7B*, AN/PVS-14*,
AN/PVS-15*, AN/PVS-18*, AN/PVS-21*, BNVD*, BNVD-G* (w/
Wilcox Interface Shoe)
WILCOX P/N 28300G24-B (Black), 28300G24-T (Tan)
MANUFACTURER Wilcox Industries
*See 'G24 in detail' section below for visual representation of this information.
**In addition to the above 'ACCOMMODATES' data, the Wilcox website further states that the below are mountable;
For ease I'll be referring to the Wilcox L4 G24 Mount as the G24 throughout this article.
The G24 is shipped in a 16 x 11 x 7 cm box weighing 259 g (9.1 oz). The top of the box features silhouette artwork and the "Our Customer's Life Depends on It" statement. The front of the box houses the sticker containing all pertinent information relating to the G24 such as NSD, manufacture / count date, Part Number etc. The left and right ends of the box bear the Wilcox brand name and logo. The rear of the box provides the Wilcox headquarters and website address. The underside of the box features the warning statement that the G24 is subject of ITAR (to restrict and control export of US defence and military technologies).
Included in the box is the G24 mount, instruction manual and 2x allen keys for mount adjustments.
G24 in detail
Before diving into the detail there are a number of parts worth highlighting which are mentioned throughout the blog and are labelled in the 1st and 2nd pictures below.
The 3rd picture shows the interface mount and markings;
P/N 28300G24 Part Number
L4 NVG MOUNT Item Description
NSN: NATO Stock Number
12-19-03 Wilcox delivery batch date
The 4th picture visualises the data advertised regarding adjustments. Simplistically the 'vertical' is the amount that the mount can be moved up and down on the sliders. The 'Fore / Aft' is how far the mounting arm can be moved forwards or backwards. The 130° is the total number of degrees that the mount moves through from the stowed position to the engaged position.
The G24 mount was purchased in the Tan colour and was therefore labelled with the corresponding NSN: 5855-01-593-6375. The black variant of the G24 is labelled as NSN: 5855-01-593-6422.
The G24 is lightweight coming in at 167 g (5.9 oz) slightly over what Wilcox advertise. The light weight mount does feel incredibly sturdy initially and the exterior is fairly free of any manufacturing moulds or defects. All of the hex screws (bar the 2x arm screws fixing the mounting arm to the main body) are sunk into recesses, to ensure that there are no snag hazards.
The dimensions when folded are 8 x 6.5 x 5.5 cm. In this position the mount can be held within one hand or could be inserted and carried in a pouch if required.
When extended the dimensions are 11.2 x 6.5 x 5.5 cm. In this position the mount doesn't feel cumbersome or unbalanced. The main cylindrical section containing the flip release mechanism, feels to be the central balance point for the weight. On the underside of the mounting arm in the 7th picture below, the dovetail fixing mechanism can be seen in the centre.
The G24 has several features worth mentioning. The first is the BREAKAWAY function. When enabled this ensures that if the mount and or NVDs become entangled in ropes whilst rappelling or in parachute lines, the mount under the stress will break off from the shroud. In doing so this will prevent any serious injuries to the operator. This feature does not have to be enabled, however I'd advise to enable it to reduce risk of injury.
The adjustability of the G24 is very good, you can either make large adjustments or miniature ones to suit you. Wilcox have understood that 'one size fits all' is massively incorrect. The main body of the mount can be adjusted vertically to either raise or lower the NVDs position in front of the eye. In addition to this the mounting arm can be adjusted forwards or backwards, again to suit the correct distance from the eye to reduce manual NVD lens adjustments.
The final feature of note is the flip release mechanism. With additional weight provided by the NVDs when fitted, the flip up motion is still smooth. Designed to be used one handed and with gloves worn, it really is simple and straightforward.
Fitting the G24
The Wilcox W shroud pre-fitted to the Team Wendy EXFIL Carbon helmet has on the interior at the top and bottom, two recesses or mounting guides (pictures 3 and 4 below). Viewing the rear of the G24, the main body of the G24 can be seen to have a ledge at the top seen in the 2nd picture. In this image at the bottom, the lower ledge is not seen due to the mount release lever being open. The main body is inserted into the shroud top first and pushed in securely at the bottom. Once in position, the mount release lever can be pushed to the right and the G24 then is fixed tightly without any movement. As previously mentioned, the 'BREAKAWAY' feature can be set when fitted to ensure operator safety.
When the G24 is fitted to the helmet, with no NVDs fitted, the weight is not noticeable. Thanks to the high grade, low density materials used, it's easy to understand why these mounts are left attached by operators when on task. It's likely that when NVDs are fitted, there may be a requirement to add a counterweight to the rear of the helmet, however that is another trial for another day.
Thoughts and opinion
This is a niche piece of equipment right? It is yes and the cost, well it's not cheap. The main thing to consider is, if you do follow the path to purchase NVDs, what will you do to keep them safe? With NVD mounts there are a mountain of imitations available covering all types of quality. Would you trust fixing £4k+ of NVD to a clone mount and deploying into the field? Worse still deploying to the field, snagging on a line and the mount potentially not breaking away as the feature and parts are aesthetic only! Imitations have their place for show, but I'd recommend sticking with the real deal real steel manufacturers, albeit at a price. It's quick and easy to change and remove (even one handed), store and continue on mission. In regards to the quality, the G24 is machined to a very high standard, comes with a 5 year warranty, it's been expertly designed, manufactured tried and tested across the globe and above all else has proved it's reliability. Wilcox are one of the most prominent names out there for NVD mounts and it's easy with the G24 to see why.
I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.